Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, May 31, 2014

rhodies and lady slippers

Spring at Maudslay State Park is full of color. When I visited two weeks ago some of the azaleas were in bloom; the rhododendron were wearing buds but no color.

Today the rhodies decorated a chunk of my walk in bright swaths of color. There were times when I just stood in place, looked, spun in circles, looked some more.

rhododendron everywhere!

The rhododendron were more concentrated on the first half of the loop that I walked, both along the path and off the trail in the woods. As I moved away from them, I kept looking for interesting plants and flowers. Amazing! I saw a bit of pink within the green, looked closer, and saw lady slippers!

lady slippers in the grass

More photos from today's walk can be seen in the gallery Maudslay State Park - 2014 starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, May 30, 2014


Most of the bearded iris in my local garden are not quite ready to show their intricate flowers. I'm still waiting...

In the meantime a patch of yellow flag iris in a small wetland patch satisfied my iris needs.

iris in yellow

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Curves of pink appear in the petals of a tulip.

curves of pink

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


I'm fascinated by the patterns in pools of water on granite. Halibut Point State Park is a favorite spot of mine; I love to walk there, to sit and relax, to enjoy the rocks and water.

reflecting water on granite, at Halibut Point State Park

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Tiny and blue against a background of pink and green, these flowers stand very close to the ground. Bluebells...

tiny bluebells

Monday, May 26, 2014

green on green

It feels like the transition from bare branches into full color has taken longer than usual this year. We're two months into spring; now the trees and plants are (finally) wearing bright green.

green leaves (and yellow flowers) against green

Sunday, May 25, 2014

seeking iris

It was a gray morning, one that I knew could easily be brightened with a bit of color. I've started seeing iris in bloom; hoping that the buds I saw earlier this week had opened I headed to The Stevens-Coolidge Place this morning.

Tulips in varying stages of life are still in place, some past prime, some in full bloom, all beautiful.

The iris? They are just starting to bloom. I found one clump of iris in a salmon color with scattered clumps of buds throughout the perennial garden. This garden will need multiple visits over the next few weeks... I wonder what colors will emerge next.

an iris in shades of salmon

Saturday, May 24, 2014

back to Halibut Point

When I left home this morning I knew I was heading to Long Hill to play in the gardens. I also knew that was the half-way point between home and Halibut Point in Rockport so I had a second wander tucked in the back of my mind. It didn't take much to convince myself that I should continue to the east for a first visit to Halibut Point State Park this year.

For a day during which rain was predicted I managed some good outside time! I got caught in the wet stuff during both my early morning and evening walks but my wandering time was dry. There was even a sky wearing clouds, perfect. I'm so glad I finally discovered Halibut Point a few years back; it's a wonderful spot to walk, to sit and absorb the beauty.

quarry and ocean, a view in Halibut Point State Park

More photos from today's visit can be seen in the gallery Halibut Point - 2014.

a (new to me) garden

This morning I felt like a new wandering destination was in order. I headed to the Trustees of Reservations site to see what I could find. The local garden I visit often is one of their properties and I was sure they own at least one more garden in the area.

Long Hill jumped out at me. It's an estate with gardens surrounding a Federal-style house.

As the couple formulated plans for the elegant Federal-style home that would become their summer retreat, Mabel Sedgwick also set about designing gardens and landscape amenities that are renowned a century later.

...The gardens are laid out in a series of separate garden “rooms” surrounding the handsome, Federal-style, brick house. Each “room” is distinct in its own way, accented by ornaments and statuary.

from the Long Hill web site

The web page indicates that the gardens are most spectacular in May and June so it appears that my visit today was at a good time. I spend the entire time in the gardens, ignoring the tempting trails that headed off through the woods. I've added this place to my list of "must visit often" spots; it was a good find.

small flowers in pink, at certain angles showing the look of a butterfly

More photos are available in the gallery Long Hill estate and gardens.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

flowering tree

A flowering tree wears blossoms in bright pink.

flowering tree, blossoms in bright pink

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

next to emerge

While tulips are still in bloom the next flower in the perennial world is preparing to emerge.

before the flower blooms

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

dogwood in bloom

Not only are the flowers on the ground emerging, the trees are in bloom too.

a dogwood in bloom

Monday, May 19, 2014

a violet

These tiny purple flowers (wearing the name Viola sororia) show amazing intricate details. I've been enjoying their very low-to-the-ground show all season, attempting to get to the level of the flowers with my camera. This one was hiding in plain sight, in the grass at Maudslay State Park.

tiny perfections, a viola sororia

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Maudslay morning

Azaleas are in bloom in the neighborhoods near me so I thought the time might be right for a visit to Maudslay State Park. The park is a former estate, described on the park's web site as:

The former Moseley family estate on the Merrimack River, this park features 19th century gardens and plantings, rolling meadows, towering pines, and one of the largest naturally-occurring stands of mountain laurel in Massachusetts. Most breathtaking are the ornamental trees and masses of azaleas and rhododendrons that bloom in May and June.

It feels like spring is lagging the normal schedule by a week or two. I found some azalea in bloom, some just budding - and yes, it was a good destination for today. What a beautiful place for wandering!

azalea in a sea of pink

More photos from today's visit to Maudslay can be seen in the gallery Maudslay State Park - 2014 starting with this photo and ending here.


This weekend brought a temporary addition to the gardens titled Noah's Ark at Bedrock Gardens. The art pieces were creations of students from Dover High and Oyster River Middle Schools, some made of ceramics, some using trash as the basis for art. The pieces that stood out from the rest (for me) were wire sculptures.

from Noah's Ark at Bedrock Gardens, creations of students of Dover High and Oyster River Middle Schools

from Noah's Ark at Bedrock Gardens, creations of students of Dover High and Oyster River Middle Schools

The background of the event is documented in the article Students use trash to build Noah's ark.

to Bedrock Gardens

Yesterday was the first open house of the season at Bedrock Gardens. Since heavy rain was predicted for the morning it felt like a good spot for an afternoon wander. I always enjoy visiting; there are new sculptures, aging changes to previously existing sculptures, flowers, a wonderful place for exploring.

Funny, I don't remember noticing these bright glass globes hiding in a rock garden on previous visits. I suspect they were there but that I hadn't walked by this section of garden. They are hidden in plain sight!

globes of bright glass, hidden

More photos from today's wander can be seen in the gallery Bedrock Gardens - 2014.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

photos! Acadia

Photos from last weekend's quick trip to Acadia are ready for viewing in the gallery a taste of Acadia.

a taste of Acadia:

along Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park

Interested in words? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Acadia 2014-05.

at Schoodic

I'm so happy to have a photo of me at one of my favorite spots, on the Schoodic Peninsula.

And guess what! We're going to be visiting there again in just a few weeks to share this wonderful place with Denise's mom and sister. I still need to push Denise towards a wandering decision or two for later this year...

--- Rover

Rover in a favorite wandering spot, at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

Thursday, May 15, 2014

seeking tulips

The sky was gray, the air warm and dry, good conditions for a garden walk. I headed to The Stevens-Coolidge Place and was greeted by beds of tulips. Some even stood (almost) still in the wind, posing.

a tulip in purple

reflections in a pool

As I walked along the rocky coastline in Acadia National Park I found a pool of water providing a mirror for the clouds above.

reflections in a pool, Acadia National Park

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

a touch of green

I was amazed at the difference between home and Bar Harbor in terms of leaves on trees. I left a place where green was starting to predominate. As I moved further to the east the trees were again bare. Walking in the park I found that leaves were starting to emerge.

a touch of green, leaves

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

a pop of pink

I usually look at tulips from the side; sometimes changing the angle of view creates an interesting image.

a pop of pink

Monday, May 12, 2014

sea gull story

Oh! I just realized I didn't tell you our sea gull story!

We made just a couple of stops when we zipped into Acadia in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. The rain had stopped, the sky was still wearing gray clouds, and there were some foggy spots too. You know that Denise likes that kind of conditions, right? We stopped at Thunder Hole to listen, to watch the waves crashing.

When we returned to the parking lot we found a sea gull sitting on the roof of our car. At first Denise was worried the the silly bird had his feet stuck somehow. That wasn't the case; he just seemed to like sitting on the roof of the car. Denise walked pretty close to snap his photo and he still didn't move. She thought she might not be able to drive away; even when she opened the car door the sea gull stayed sitting. When she opened a second door he decided to stand up. A few minutes later he jumped to the ground - and then she was afraid that she would hit him when she backed out of the parking spot. The silly bird finally moved to the side so we could drive away.

--- Rover

sea gull sitting on car

shades of purple

Curious, I walked up the path the Thuya Gardens yesterday before I left Mount Desert Island. I found (as I suspected) it was too early for color in the beds of the garden. Instead I found tiny viola sororia in wonderful shades of purple scattered through the grass.

a viola sororia in shades of purple

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Oh! It was such a nice day today!

We spent the morning and a bit of the afternoon wandering in the park before we headed for home. I thought we might follow a trail somewhere... instead of a trail we spent most of "in the park" time today walking along the trail that is on the ocean side of Park Loop Road, starting at Sand Beach and reversing direction somewhere near Otter Cliffs. We alternated between the trail and the rocks, sometimes sitting for a bit to watch the waves.

It was a glorious day, sunny and a bit windy, comfortably warm.

--- Rover
a sunny morning at Sand Beach

Saturday, May 10, 2014

a good day

Wow! It turned out to be a good day even though it wasn't the day we'd hoped for. Denise wrote earlier about our very wet and windy morning. Luckily the weather conditions changed as the day progressed.

Low tide was at 2:19 PM. For about an hour and a half on either side of low tide there is a sand bar that emerges between Bar Harbor and Bar Island. At a little before 1 PM Denise and Karl (one of the other people staying at the Holland Inn) decided to walk to Bar Island. Then they followed a path that ended at the high spot of the island before turning and retracing their steps.

Next we took a quick drive with a few stops. We started around Park Loop Road because Denise wanted to stop at Sand Beach. She likes the water behind the beach. It was different today; a place where she could walk across the sand was blocked by water today. She still stood a while and soaked in the beauty. That's where she grabbed the photo by phone shown below. Our next stop was Thunder Hole. Our friend Lorah was with us and she wanted to hear the thunder. The tide was coming in and the water was at a good level to support thundering. Oh! That's an interesting sound!

After an early dinner in Bar Harbor we headed back into Acadia again for a wander to the top of Cadillac Mountain. The late day light on top of the mountain is a sort of magic. There were still clouds hugging the land below us, creating interesting scenery. It seems like each time we head to the top it looks different. I really like that!

Tomorrow the weather wizard says it will be mostly sunny here. I told Denise we should stay longer than we usually do on our travel home day and I think she agrees with me. That means tomorrow will be a play first drive later day.

--- Rover

behind Sand Beach


Listen... can you hear the wind?

I woke up this morning to the sound of strong wind, wind that didn't stop blowing. By the time breakfast was finished a light rain was falling too. It seemed light enough that a short hike might still be reasonable. That didn't last too long... as soon as I arrived at the trail head the rain became much heavier. Hmmm.... I thought for a minute, then headed back to town. I figured walking the shore path in Bar Harbor was a better choice on this very wet morning than walking a trail across possibly slippery rocks.

It was a very wet walk. But hey - my rain jacket kept me dry!

The sky is getting lighter and I think the rain has stopped. It's time to head out again, this time accompanied by my camera.

a walk in the rain, Shore Path, Bar Harbor

Friday, May 09, 2014

evening light

It was close to high tide when I walked down to the water this evening.

This morning's blue sky was replaced by gray clouds, the remaining sunshine creating an interesting play of light on the water.

late day light, Bar Harbor, Maine

Schoodic morning

The weather forecast is a bit iffy for tomorrow so Denise decided we should head to the Schoodic Peninsula today. Schoodic is the next peninsula to the east, 4 miles away if you go across the water or 46 miles if you drive. We drove.

Schoodic is one of our favorite places. It's quieter than the parts of the park on Mount Desert Island. Denise thinks it is a magical place; I think she's right! Our first walking stop was at a spot that was covered with smooth round stones. I thought they were easy to bounce across but Denise told me she needed to step carefully because they moved as she stepped on them. Then we headed to the tip of the peninsula where there are wonderful rocks decorated with occasional pools of water. The sky was blue and we could see reflections in the water!

At the southern end of the peninsula, the two-way road to Schoodic Point leads to a windswept coast with dark diabase dikes that intrude between pink granite ledges.

Please use caution exploring the rocky shore.

The ocean views are spectacular, but the footing is dangerous — people have died here! Wet rocks are slippery and waves can sweep you into the sea.

...Acadia National Park brochure...

If you decide to visit Acadia make sure to leave time to jump across the water to Schoodic!

--- Rover

at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

Thursday, May 08, 2014

a driving afternoon

I thought we should leave early today but Denise needed to work. We headed out in the middle of the afternoon though; that worked out well. There was still some light in the sky when we pulled in to the Holland Inn (in Bar Harbor), our home for the next three nights.

I'm glad that Denise likes Acadia - I like to wander here!

--- Rover

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

a different focus

My eyes are drawn to the bright colors of spring flowers. Sometimes I need to change focus, looking at and through leaves.

through leaves

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

wearing purple

I loved the tulip beds in front of the visitor center at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens when I visited last weekend. I don't think I ever would have though of combining purple and red and orange - the colors were wonderful together.

tulip wearing purple


Oh! I'm so happy I'm bouncing around the house helping Denise gather things she needs for a road trip.

We still don't have plans for a big trip for this year (I know, I know, I'm trying to get Denise to focus!) but we have two long weekend trips on the calendar this spring. Acadia National Park is the destination for both - and the first trip is this week. It's almost time to visit one of my favorite places!

--- Rover

on the rocky coastline of downeast Maine
along the roacky coastline of downeast Maine

Monday, May 05, 2014

in a sea of tulips

A solo bloom standing in a sea of tulips...

in a sea of tulips

Sunday, May 04, 2014

tiny beauty

The wind howled all day today. I could hear it as I sat indoors, I could feel it as I walked outside, I could see it as I watched the flowers move. Luckily there were a few tiny flowers so close to the ground that I could convince them to pose for me.

a viola of sorts, white with details in purple

I think this tiny beauty is the white form of a Viola sororia.

pink, orange

Funny, I don't often think of putting pink and orange next to each other. I love the combination in the petals of these very bright tulips.

simple color, pink and orange

Saturday, May 03, 2014


There is a primrose show at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden this weekend. I didn't know what to expect since it was only a 2-day show. There was a hall with a long display table that was the home of these plants with beautiful (and tiny!) flowers.

This one caught my eye with its almost painted look.

a primrose with a painted look


I discovered Tower Hill Botanic Garden in August last year, visiting when the gardens were wearing summer flowers. I knew I needed to see spring bloom there; today was my first spring visit.

I walked up to the building to find open tulips in bright colors, orange, red, and purple. There were delights in the exhibits inside, and there were fields of daffodils outside. The daffs lived in the gardens and they were spread across the grass in the hills behind the gardens. What a wonderful visit!

a bed of tulips in red, orange, and purple... reflected in glass

I was told that these tulips weren't open earlier in the week. Sometimes timing is everything, isn't it?

I have to admit that I spent a bit of time sitting on the ground near this beautiful bed of tulips. I needed to get closer to individual flowers to capture them with my camera. Apparently I wasn't alone though; a Tower Hill employee stopped by to tell me he did the same thing earlier in the day!

daffodils in the grass

Seeing fields of daffodils was amazing. There was a single string "fence" separating the (grass) path from the flowers. After seeing this sign posted I decided I didn't need to walk through the daffodils:


Poison Ivy and Ticks share the fields with the Daffodils

More photos from today's visit can be seen in the gallery Tower Hill Botanic Garden - 2014 starting with this photo and ending here.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

color for a rainy day

It's gray and wet outside, a rainy day. I think I need some color to chase the gray away; here's a bit of lavender from a vine in a greenhouse.

a vine and flowers in lavendar